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I've used night vision a lot when boating in the dark (we could check them out where I worked for many years). They are pretty handy. I found an inflatable dinghy and outboard that had come untied at anchor once down off Grand Cayman, that was several miles down wind of us in the middle of the night using a pair.

Without the NVGs, I don't think we would have ever seen that dinghy again.
 

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If you are putting all your attention into looking through night vision glasses, I believe you could miss a lot of more important information. There is no way you are going to see a container, a log or even a sleeping whale at sea, unless you happen to be looking in exactly the right place at the right second, in a perfectly flat sea. It really is a waste of time to try. I believe most of us trust to our luck in these cases; it is a huge ocean and these objects are few and far between.
Onshore, where floating objects are more common, like fishing floats or logs in the PNW, the prudent mariner might not proceed at full speed in limited visibility, as many of these dangers are still not easily seen, even in good visibility.
The one modern innovation I find absolutely indispensable now, for navigation, are the stabilized binoculars. They are a huge improvement over conventional ones and facilitate identification of navigational aids, vessel lights and anything one might want to actually see clearly from a moving boat. They are smaller and lighter than conventional binoculars, therefor, instead of the common 7X35 marine binoculars, 10X 50 are quite usable on a small craft.
As wonderful as Hollywood makes the night vision glasses seem, I seriously doubt they would be very serviceable aboard a small craft, for navigation.
The only time I have ever been air sick in my life, was after looking through some stabilized binoculars for 30 minutes while flying as a passenger in a small plane. I've used them on boats and they are nice when there is some sea on, but I've never wanted a pair of my own bad enough to buy them.
 
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